WILLIAMS (BILTON), Marie
Marie Bilton Williams died at home in Atlanta, GA on January 21, 2021. Catherine Maree Bilton was born November 10, 1948 in Pooler, GA. At age 2, she moved to Holly Hill, SC. Her father opened a furniture store, Bilton Furniture. Her youth and teenage years were spent enjoying small town Southern living. She had full rein of the town on her bike. She exercised her considerable drive for excellence by selling flavored snowball cones in front of the store, magazines throughout the town, and beloved Krispy Kreme Donuts for various school events. She was more than a participant in everything she did in school. She excelled socially and academically with her natural charisma and leadership skills. She graduated from Holly Hill High School with the Class of 1966. She graduated (January 1970) from The University of South Carolina in 3.5 years with a major in Radio and TV Journalism and a minor in Italian. A highlight of her Journalism education was the "legendary" Half-Ham radio commercial she produced with her good friend, Peg George. During her college years, while attending The Citadel summer school, she met Ralph Henry Williams. He was stunned by her radiant smile! He was an indifferent cadet and a dedicated surfer. They simultaneously met and had their first "date" after he conned her into letting him watch the 1968 Major League Baseball All-Star game on her TV. That was Thursday, July 9th, 1968. By that Sunday, July 12th, they agreed they were going to be married; 52+ years later the love story continues. They were married in The Citadel Summerall Chapel May 23, 1972. Her first job was with the (OEO) Office of Economic Opportunity in Charleston, SC from January,1970 to January,1971. She was a counselor for unwed teenage mothers. Her next and final job lasted 30 years with Delta Airlines as a Flight Attendant. The airline life provided her with a life of good friends, freedom, travel, adventure, and more than a few destinations that involved Ralph's surfing. For their entire lives, there has been a wonderful connection with Folly Beach, SC. On December 12, 1982, Maree's life took a dramatic turn. Her son, Ross Henry Williams, was born. Her life was turned upside down for the wonderfully better. Her loving focus on raising a son was her mission. She was continually and persistently interacting with every aspect of his varied interests. It was computers, all the kid's games, computers, soccer, swimming, skiing,computers, the beach, travel, all the school level activities. What a joy it was to raise her son. A friend asked her about having a child. Maree replied: "It's a trip well worth taking, but pack your bags well." Maree and Ralph believe that their lives have been blessed with serendipity. Maree's retirement years, until August, 2012, were spent doing what she wanted. Her most treasured time was spent with family. The time she spent with Josephine and Ada, her granddaughters,was her most special. One of the highlights from 2008 to 2013 was spending the winters with wonderful surfing friends at Shacks Beach, Isabela, Puerto Rico. In August of 2012, she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. She spent the next 8.5 years waging an incredible battle against this dreaded disease. Her courage, positive attitude, style, smiles and humanity was a remarkable lesson in living. Atlanta Cancer Care (ACC) and their absolutely sensational staff made her challenging journey so much more tolerable. We cannot thank our friends there enough. On a scale of 10, ACC was always between 12 and 15. Maree is survived by her husband, Ralph Henry Williams. Her son, Ross Henry Williams. Daughter-in-law, Rebecca Eden Williams. Good friend, Lynn Eden. granddaughters, Ada Williams and Josephine Williams. Brother, Larry Bilton. Sister-in-law, Joni Bilton. Nieces: Cheryl Hill Weaver, Hope Bilton, Donna Bilton, nephews: Mike Hill, Jody Hill, Chad Bilton. Maree was predeceased by her parents: Samuel Washington Bilton, and Annie Ruth Ard Bilton. Her brother: Don Bilton. Her sister: Ann Bilton Hill. Her brother-in-law: Bill Hill. Her nieces: Karen Bilton, Allison Bilton. In a small gathering on Sunday, May 23, 2021, Maree's ashes will be placed at Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, SC (her favorite place on Earth.) Following the ashes service, a joyous gathering for all her friends will be held at Sweatmans BBQ , Holly Hill, SC from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Sunday, May 23, 2021. Please come and celebrate Maree's life.
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